The mission of Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Division of Laboratories is to support public health epidemiology programs by providing clinical and environmental laboratory data.
The Division of Laboratories serves Illinois’ public health system and environmental protection network with high quality diagnostic and analytical laboratory testing. As enormous strides continue to take place in all medical and scientific disciplines, division personnel located in Chicago, Springfield, and Carbondale strive to maintain advanced laboratory capabilities in order to improve public health and environmental quality throughout Illinois. The Division of Laboratories participates in numerous certification programs to ensure the accuracy of our testing data. The Illinois Department of Public Health Laboratory Services Manual is located in the Resources section of this page and provides a description of all clinical tests available at the laboratory and other useful information.
Newborn screening is a half-century old, state-mandated public health activity aimed at early identification of babies affected with certain genetic, metabolic and congenital disorders. Screening, in Illinois, began in 1965 with testing for PKU (phenylketonuria, a metabolic disorder) and now encompasses screenings prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center for more than 40 disorders, including newborn hearing (2002) and critical congenital heart disease (2013). Newborn screening is recognized as one of the most successful public health accomplishments, and was the first population-based genetic screening program to become an integral component of public health practice. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions can prevent death or disability and enable children to reach their full potential. Each year in Illinois, more than 700 babies are diagnosed through newborn screening either by using a few drops of blood from the newborn’s heel or through special equipment to detect hearing loss or critical congenital heart disease. A list of the conditions which are tested by IDPH are included in the Resources section of this page. For additional information on Newborn Screening, please visit the IDPH Newborn Screening Program webpage at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/life-stages-populations/newborn-screening.
The IDPH Division of Laboratories works closely with the IDPH Division of Infectious Diseases to protect people from infectious diseases through disease surveillance, analysis, immunization, and education by performing or assuring the ability of laboratory tests. Laboratory subject matter experts are available to consult on Communicable Diseases, HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Vaccine Preventable Diseases as well as Novel Diseases. The Illinois Department of Public Health Laboratory Services Manual is located in the Resources section of this page and provides a description of all clinical tests available at the laboratory.